24 Hour Race

The combined racing and shoreside activities of this year’s 24 Hour Charity Dinghy Race were as lively as ever – Hebe Haven Yacht Club knows how to put on a party and the 2023 edition of its annual charity weekend did not disappoint.

Battling it out on the water in the 20th anniversary of the event were nine Hansas, 12 Quests, six Picos and eight Fevas. Conditions were mild and there was a period during the night where nobody went anywhere at all. Oh dear.

But at the 1200 start, the fleet got away into a southerly of 6 knots. That was at 1200 on Saturday, the 14th of October 2023. By 1600, the breeze had increased to 8 knots from 170 degrees.

Along the marina dock, shore teams gave support from their distinctive red gazebos. Replacement crews were able to prepare for their shifts, rounding the course, among the moorings of Hebe Haven. Conditions were benign, friends and families loved the 20 stalls set up on the hard and the live music provided foot-tapping entertainment with popular music.

And for those who thought that sailing was just about personal enjoyment, they should have been at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club on Sunday morning. You would have seen the club management team, the catering staff and the marine team indulged in supporting members, family and friends, making this the most successful Charity Race for some time, even though entry numbers couldn’t match the 47 in 2012. Remarkably, since its inception in 2002 the event has raised well over HK$12 million for its chosen charities.

Although slightly down on boat numbers at 35 (2021 : 38 starters), Among the 35 boats racing this year were representatives from clubs, schools and companies including DEA Sailing Association, Wah Yan Alumni, Police Sailing Club, Hong Kong Academy, making good use of the available RS Quests, Laser Picos, RS Fevas and Hansa 303s.

But it wasn’t only the sailing that attracted members and their guests. The club set up quite a show of supporting organistions in the hardstand area which pleased young and old alike. Very popular was the face painting and colourful tatoos through to the more serious boating and marine suppliers. In between you could have enjoyed the music of Red Stripes and Jimmy2Times.

This year’s major sponsors were Knight Frank, St James’s Place, Honor Lane Shipping with supporters Bon Café, Corney & Barrow, CLP, Carlsberg, Asahi, Sapporo and Telford International.

It was a perfect weekend except for a few periods of light airs before the breeze picked up again in the second half of the event, ready for the enthusiasts to start up again for their breakfast stint around the short-course off the pontoon. Most teams were able to put in a score of 30 to 40 roundings of the approximately 1-nautical-mile course with the winners undertaking over 50 circuits. Bubbalicious – overallwinner – made 60 circuits to increase its donations to the Children’s Cancer Foundation and other charitable foundations.
To recap, a total of 23 teams entered the event with approximately 20 members in each. They came from all walks of life, students to seniors. So, if you’re wondering why were you not there enjoying and contributing to such a worthy event, you can still do your part by visiting the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s website (https://www.hhyc.org.hk/) and finding out how you can donate to the Children’s Cancer Foundation, TREATS, IDEAL, Sailability Hong Kong and the Sai Kung District Community Centre. Donations are open until midnight on the 31st of October 2023.

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